"Shipp’s manic repetitions, Butcher’s scalar blankets, and Lehn’s warm reverb remind the listener of certain eras of experimental improvisation and composition, but it isn’t the remembrance that contains the power, but the feeling that this is something fresh and new. It is a music that brings up new ideas and paradigms" - Nate Wooley
John Butcher / saxophones, feedback
Thomas Lehn / analogue synthesizer
Matthew Shipp / piano
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 19 February 2014 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Butcher and Thomas Lehn. Mastered at Gray’s Inn Road by Rupert Clervaux. Notes by Nate Wooley. Photography by Andy Moor (The Ex). Design by James Vickery. Thanks to Trevor Brent.
Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Schooled both as a concert pianist playing contemporary repertoire and as a recording technician, Thomas Lehn deploys a huge musicality through his unique chosen outlet the analogue synthesiser. This instrument allows him extremely close and immediate contact with all aspects of sound modification - a vast gamut of living electronic sound produced with unmatched speed and fluency. Thomas Lehn simply represents a coming-of-age of electronic sound production in the domain of concert performance that sets a standard for the entire medium. He is therefore unsurprisingly an essential member of many of the most active and significant projects in this highly international and dynamic scene.
Steeped in the history of the jazz avant-garde yet with an unmistakeably individual voice, Matthew Shipp has established himself as one of the most important figures in American creative music today. Combining an uncompromising personal language with an exemplary eclecticism, Shipp has worked with an astonishing array of musicians, including Roscoe Mitchell, David S. Ware, Antipop Consortium, William Parker, Mat Maneri, Spring Heel Jack, J Spaceman, Evan Parker, and Nate Wooley.
“Shipp’s approach to the keyboard is a study of tone, decay, muscle, and grace . . . round filigree unfolding amid monumental bell-like clangs . . . rangy attack that volleys from dense clusters that nearly distort themselves to barely perceptible skims of the keyboard . . . stark and insistent and utterly massive.” – Clifford Allen, Tiny Mix Tapes